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Dreamforce 2016: When Einstein came calling!

Dreamforce 2016 is over and as the dust settles down, it is time for a retrospective. The event was as usual held at San Francisco with an in person participation of over 170,000 and innumerable sessions and key note speeches. There was a lot in terms of education and entertainment. Here is my attempt to summarize what I saw over the four days of this fantastic event!

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The topics that caught my attention:

• Einstein, Einstein and more Einstein

This appears to be the big message that Salesforce.com was pushing this year as Artificial Intelligence (AI) was all over the place, whether in the keynotes or sessions. Einstein is AI and is a part of the Salesforce platform architecture. As a foundational element, it powers all the cloud offerings and apps that are built on the same. In a three step process, it 'captures' data, 'learns' or processes the data and then offers predictive analytics capability by making suggestions and even automating some tasks. One cool example presented was that of an email being created automatically by the app and offered to the user to review and send!


• Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS) 

This was the first session I attended on October 4th. I went in expecting to gain some insights on the Salesforce Classic vs. Lightning topic but this turned out to be a new design system for user interface of apps. The SLDS is a platform agnostic CSS framework and user interface (UI) library to help clients create apps with UI that has the look and feel that is consistent with standard Salesforce user experience as UI developers only need to change values in "Tokens" instead of hard coding information.


• Salesforce DX 

I came across this in the Partner Keynote. This is an open and standard developer experience that includes capabilities like a new type of Salesforce environment called Scratch Orgs for testing and Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE). It is intended to allow developers to use the options that work best for them and thereby enhance their experience while they develop apps on the Salesforce platform. 


• Commerce Cloud

Earlier this year Salesforce acquired Demandware (cloud leader in the multi-billion dollar digital commerce market). Salesforce Commerce Cloud is its new name and is the newest cloud in the Salesforce product suite.


A few others that I would like to mention:

• Quip - the cloud-based word processing app

• Updated Salesforce1 mobile app

• Salesforce CPQ (configure, price, quote)


On the lighter or the "non-business" side of the event:

• As always, Marc Benioff's keynote speech was the big highlight of the event. Last year, Parker Harris, Co-Founder of Salesforce, turned up dressed as "Lightning Man" - this year we were treated to a "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" like experience when a cartoon Albert Einstein popped up on the screen next to Marc Benioff and Parker Harris.

• Musician Will.i.am of the music group Black Eyed Peas was a guest in the Marc Benioff keynote. We were treated to new music video that is raising money for education and featured stars like Justin Timberlake and Usher.


Overall, this was the year of Einstein at Dreamforce. Obviously the aforementioned topics are just the tip of an iceberg in terms of the information that was disseminated there. I would like to hear from you about the topics and themes that caught your attention and your opinion about the event itself.

Comments

Thanks Dwarakesh. This is a great post for those that did not attend DF as well as for those of us that did. It was indeed a cultural event.

Now we have to come back to reality and work to fulfill all those dreams.

Thanks DI! I have to agree that I think Salesforce DX was one of the most impactful developments from DF2016. We've been waiting for an integrated continuous integration tool for a long time now! I'll be curious to see how this tool develops as they release it -- especially if they provide easy-to-use tools for admins to be able to "check in" their work much like developers do.

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